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  1. #1

    Default mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    What we have here is a review of 21 samples that, over the past five days, I have sampled and written about. I chose to write a mega-review to keep them all in one thread, as opposed to posting 21 new threads. There is a hefty amount of reading ahead, for these reviews aren't mini-reviews like the title had fooled you! I would strongly urge you to take your time; and, if you are to read but one, go ahead and try Voleur de Roses, I think that's my favorite one.

    Also, I went through a ton of editing to get these just right, so I may have fragmented a sentence, or left a thought hanging.. if that's the case, please let me know so I can fix it! Thanks

    These reviews are all relative to each other, in the sense that I'm grading them based on the idea of what their scents should be, and how that idea was executed. It's not hard to judge what a parfumeur wants a certain fragrance to smell like, and how it actually ends up smelling.

    At this point, I would also like to thank some wonderful basenoters for their wonderful generosity and supplying of far more samples than I requested. Their contributions provided me with a grand total of literally double the amount of samples than I had originally planned on! Our beloved Mike Perez, and some others who wish to remain anonymous... but they know who they are! Let's hear it for them, and to the generosity and good-natured people that the basenotes community is blessed to have!

    They're in a structured order... I first began writing these in any ol' order, based on what I felt like sniffing, but towards the end I arranged them from my absolute favorites, down to... well, Desire Blue, haha! But also, I have grouped the roses, short of Domenico Caraceni (psst, look at the second entry), and grouped the oud's together as one. Enjoy your reading; and, as always, any and all feedback is very appreciated!


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    Equistrius by Parfum d'Empire

    An unbelievably smooth and fantastically neutral opening, thank you very much rice powder, paves the way for delicate and precious Orris notes to calm and sooth the nose. In Roman times, Orris was used in pharmaceutical environments to calm and relax the senses... and my oh my, that quality is ever so present in Equistrius. A soft, blushing note of violet caresses the rice powder, adding a hint of floral sweetness, while a beautiful note of ambrette butter soaks though and envelopes the scent, adding a divinely soothing quality. A soft, creamy chocolate anchors the light sweetness and adds an unusual texture, while Orris is allowed to work the mind in its heavenly ways. As lavender withers, and rice powders fades, the chocolaty-butter / Orris combination is accentuated, and further intensified by both sandalwood and vetiver, which serve to transform the scent into a woodsy-oriented juice, until the very end of the scent.

    Absolutely every ingredient is picked with a single goal in mind: to transform the scent, as a whole, from ordinary, into something of epic proportions. It seems as if any other ingredient would have negatively impacted the scent, or any tiny change or alteration in quantity would've resulted in something else. Once the strong Orris note blends quite well with the ambrette butter, the real magic occurs. There is such a different feeling to it, because the way it flirts with lavender as opposed to how it toys with the sandalwood and vetiver, is a very dramatic shift. It wouldn't seem like one, since they're mellow notes, but it's the unfathomable impact that the Orris has on the scent.

    This is absolutely indescribable, for once I'm flabbergasted and speechless. I can't think of the proper words, but a million thoughts are going through my head at once. I'm inspired by its glory, and everything I ever thought I knew about fragrances has changed. This is easily the most unique thing I have ever smelled in my entire existence. If God's divine armpit produced sweat, Equistrius would be the liquid that flowed from His glands.

    Overall rating: 10/10: There is nothing on Earth like this. If there is, let me know, because I need a sample. $135 for a bottle? A bargain.


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    Domenico Caraceni 1913 by Domenico Caraceni

    A rose scent with a dirty little secret, Domenico Caraceni 1913 blushes arrogant spices with mellow roses, and forms perhaps one of the most intriguing out of this batch, next to Lime Aoud. 1913 isn't quite as dirty and gritty as Voleur de Roses; nor is it as clean and fragile as Rose Poivree, it's somewhere in the middle. The similarities it has are very minor and superficial; 1913 stands out as its own bold and crafty scent.

    Right from the get-go, 1913 is set up to be a magnificent fragrance. The top notes are petitgrain and geranium, followed by a heart of bigarade, rose, and a little tobacco, falling on a base of frankincense and cypress. Just looking at those notes, we see an unusually exotic combination. And the scent just keeps getting more exotic! The initial spray is a deeply rich, aromatic mixture of petitgrain and geranium, which lasts for about three minutes, then something strange happens... a heart of rose springs up and begins to smoothen out the scent. This is the first peculiar thing; as top notes generally take ~ 15-20 minutes to vanish. In 1913, however, the rose springs out, but does not replace any of the top notes. It first blends in quite nicely, then begins to dominate the scent, as the top notes start to fade and are replaced by the heart of bigarade and tobacco. Surprisingly, the tobacco is very light and hardly noticeable next to the spiced accord of bigarade; perhaps to allow the sweeter base of frankincense and cypress to bleed through the transparency (tobacco is used as a "final" base note in most scents, because it tends to last longer than any other note, and it stays dominant the moment it's introduced) and shift the scent once again. As the heart dries down, a wonderfully potent, sugared note of frankincense yawns to life, and is anchored to woodsiness by cypress. Both notes accentuate the rose, and favor the progression of change... no longer is our rose so bold and dominant; rather, it has matured, and accepts the replacement of its life. Cypress begins to ebb away at it, as frankincense adds a grand finale of spicy-sweetness, and the roses die. Even after their death, though, there is a very subtle, smoothly aromatic sense of rose essence when the frankincense relaxes a little, and the cypress isn't so potent.

    One of the most flawless and effortless executions of a rose-guided scent, 1913 is my favorite [rose] scent; it's not safe and tranquil like Rose Poivree is, yet it's not raw and dirty like Voleur de Roses... but it's not quite the middle grounds, either. It's hard to describe this scent, due to it's peculiar construction and the way each note is played out, but the sheer intelligence and thought behind this, coupled with the unusual ingredients used, makes this yet another sure-buy, and a wallet-breaker at that...

    Overall rating: 10/10: A stunning scent that is just right on the spices and "dirty" feel; but does not overdo it in the sweet and floral area either. Perfectly measured and impeccably tailored.


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    Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermes

    A ripe and fresh burst of mango greets your nose as a lovely, tangy accord of grapefruit accentuates the top notes of Un Jardin sur le Nil as one of the most prominent fruity openings. The fruits settle into a wonderfully fizzy accord as a heart of incense carries the sweetness into a lightly-wafted note of sycamore. Once faded, the fruits are replaced by a sweet and extremely green note of lotus, which sits quite nicely with the incense. There is no synthetic-marine, or ozonic, airy accord which makes it feel like you are wearing copious amounts of air freshener... instead, the primary focus is on the green and fruity notes, which sit on a spiced base of sweet incense and nearly transparent woods. An extremely well choice of sycamore is our woody note here, which plants the fragrance solidly on your skin and prevents it from fading away. Incense-stamped and mango-sweetened, the sycamore is soft yet solid. The fragrance would not be so well-lived without this particular choice.

    I firmly believe the sole purpose of this scent was to produce a story that could be told in the air; everything is experienced in fresh wafts. There are no mango or grapefruit trees; the woods sit comfortably on the outskirts of the river, and the lotus and incense are remnants of distant lands that the air has swooped by. There is always that extremely light feel to the scent, but it remains powerful in the nose. Somehow, the "fresh air" note that was included does not cut into the scent, or reduce the longevity, sillage, or overall tone of the scent; rather, it blankets the fragrance, and allows a soft and gentle stream of notes to flow through. Stunning in both its execution and in its raw beauty, I find that Un Jardin sur le Nil really is a garden on the nile; one that whispers of potent and succulent greens, mixed with dreamy, richly spiced incense, and a soft breath of sycamore... a whisper that flirts with your nose, and begs your senses to come and experience the reality.

    Overall rating: 10/10: Nurtured by nature, this sweet and succulent scent is a pinnacle of fruity achievement, and surely a must-try for every basenoter.


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    #3 by Miller et Bertaux

    I couldn't find a pyramid of the third creation of Miller et Bertaux, #3, or simply "green green green, and green" (why are there four 'green's if it's the third creation? ), so my nose will attempt to dissect the notation. The opening is a nice and solid, piny-fresh green accord with just a hint of sweetness; perhaps basil leaves with a dash of honey, or some sort of sweet sap, that offers a fresh and spicy opening. As the top notes settle, the bitter greens begin to come out. What appears to be a transparent musk blends extremely well with that touch of honey/sap that we see present in the opening, and a nice conflict forms, tricking our noses into believing that the scent has grown deeper than it really is. This isn't a bad thing; I rather enjoy how this brings visions of a damp pine tree on a sunny day, when the water is evaporating and the sweetness is instilled in the air. Upon the awakening of the heart, the heaviness and almost oud-like feel vanishes, and clearer, sunny, garden-fresh notes come into play. As the base notes bloom, a hint of lemon is felt; no doubt to replace the sweet honey/sap present in the top and heart notes, and cedar springs softly from the ground as the heart is overtaken.

    If there is but one positive attribute to this scent, it's that the top notes are so powerful and almost oud-like, while the base is soft and citrus-green... totally opposite interests, if you ask me. Montale would smell the initial spray and dub it "Junior Aoud"; but after ten minutes, that title would be stripped, and John Deere would want dibs on a name. That sort of change has an enormous impact on a scent. Usually, a large shift is due to completely different notes being used in either the heart or the base notes, but in #3, the way the top notes blend results in a strong and powerful composition, which fades into a lighter and fresher heart. I would imagine that, for a green and spiced fragrance, a big shift would involve some emphasis on more earthy notes, such as our beloved patchouli and vetiver, or maybe some dirt-and-soil like accords... but in #3, there is no focus shift from green to earthy.

    Overall rating: 10/10: Because it retains that spiced fresh accord, which is so desirable in a [relatively] sweet, summer-type of scent, #3 is perhaps one of the best niche summer scents.


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    Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone

    Soothing plums guide frankincense and patchouli into a field of tangy pomegranate and blushing raspberries; who chime in with their own tartness and special zing. With exquisite depth, the pomegranate unravels to feature a myriad of scents; each reminiscent of something great. Dark cherry and cinnamon with dried leaves and sweet scarlet roses and a dash of honey-sweetness are just two of the multitude of creations that this wonderful fragrance can induce visions of. The pomegranate notes become apparent as fighters; as the scent settles on your skin and dries down, the pomegranate still lives and remains the top note. However, that doesn't mean that it dominates the scent and disallows a proper development; rather, the pomegranate allows a generous amount of woods to bleed through, while whoring the bitter notes. There is not much sweetness here, even with the influence of frankincense and raspberries. Rather than sweetening the scent as a whole, they serve to bite out the severe bitterness that such a strong pomegranate carries. Even with the presence of patchouli, containing this particular note of pomegranate is hard, but very well done -- the result is something that's shy of being bitter, but not bland. The fact that pomegranate is showcased here could have resulted in the scent being very linear and bland, but the design and structure of this scent is so well-done and rugged, that there is no room to think that it is merely pomegranate.

    The drydown is, by far, the most unbelievable of any fragrance I have ever smelled. In fact, I wore this scent four different times in one day just to relive that experience. The pomegranate dies out, and patchouli, frankincense, and a touch of raspberry are left to work wonders on your nose. I almost sense some transparent rose notes; that may just be the earthy patchouli feeding the raspberry and playing even more tricks on my nose though. Regardless of what it is, the beauty of this lies in the fact that it can be so much to your nose... no two drydowns will be the same. I understand, though, that Pomegranate Noir is not everyone's cup of t-- err, bottle of fragrance, so therefore I will leave you with a metaphor: Pomegranate Noir is the ugliest girl in the world, with the most beautiful personality. You pick your poison. No scent is perfect, and few are daring and bold as this one is. A manly composition of pomegranate and sweet fruits is done justice by Jo Malone.

    Overall rating: 10/10: Yet another high-quality composition we see here; the originality and the amount of effort put into this fragrance is superior to damn near every scent I have smelled.


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    Voleur de Roses by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    Dark clouds form overhead as the fluttering spring breeze suddenly turns cold, while cracks of thunder shake the ground and trespass on the tranquility of the day. As tears of helplessness from the sky soak the green earth, the wind picks up, and the primordial lust for savagery is unleashed on a prime target: a rose garden. Black winds howl, scathing the ground; ripping and tearing roots with glee; unphased by the violence as hips are torn, soil is churned, and buds are scattered. The ruthless wind agonizes and torments the hips; tossing them around effortlessly and piercing them on broken stems, while melancholy rain soaks the fertile soil and thunder cracks, striking the ground like the fist of an angry God. An eruption of soil; a cascading of shrapnel that was once life-inducing, crushes the stems and ignores the begging of the roots, which gasp for virility and for life, as they are woefully churned over. Dirt-stained roots comfort broken stems, who weep for the tattered and cleaved hips; laying as blood-stained corpses of a genocide, as raindrop after raindrop crushes the precious anthers and filaments, and rubs away the memories of a once-perfect life. Unsatisfied, the merciless thunder lashes out at a nearby plum tree, snapping off the fruits with ease; singing its skin, exposing raw flesh and sweet nectar to the to tattered remains of the roses. Drenching the hips, stems, and roots; the sweet plum finds home in the dirt, among the souls of its once-living brothers and sisters. Hour after hour, the assault rages and the battery is incessant; until, finally, anger ebbs away -- the storm leaves, and laying in the groves of death, is the beautifully grim Voleur de Roses.

    Overall rating: 10/10


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    Rose Poivree by The Different Company

    An elegant composure of stunningly rich and aromatic Damascus flowers; it takes over one hundred pounds of flowers to make a 90mL bottle -- and it's very apparent. The luxurious scent that exudes and wafts so elegantly and effortlessly holds a divine composure; there is such class that radiates from the scent, that is is unmistakably a byproduct of the genius' over at TDC. Each waft is a subtle burst of hundreds of roses that bloom in your nostrils and glide through your mind; impacting all of your senses. Rose Poivree is calming on the body, and soothing on the soul. It is not a scent you "like" or "dislike"; rather, due to it's unusual substance, it is a scent you appreciate, or simply do not understand. The soft pink petals are instantly recognizable as purely translated from nature to bottled substance; there is feeling and tone in these petals, almost as if the essence of life has is present, and the vibrancy and richness of exquisite flowers that were once in gardens, is somehow captured. This differs from all other rose scents I have sampled in the sense that there was no factoring in how to increase longevity, or produce more sillage, or how to increase the feel of the roses -- simply, it is Damascus roses in a bottle. Those of us who sniff like bloodhounds at our wrists and statistically analyze ingredients, percentage of concentration, chemicals involved, longevity, sillage, and so on, will miss the point of Rose Poivree.

    Overall rating: 10/10: I'm amazed by how smooth and serene this composition is. If you're a fan of purely rose scents, this is the epitome of purity and character in such a fragrance.


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    Aoud Lime and Black Aoud by Montale

    Aoud Lime is exactly what it sounds like -- oud and lime. A single lime is present in a forest of dark aoud; there is no citrus here, there is no fresh and soft breeze; rather, there is moist and dark air, billowing softly through the dense trees, which sunlight has trouble penetrating. Whistling with newfound piny notes of earthy patchouli and dark cedar, it picks up saffron, which clings to budding rose hips, and choke under the dominant presence of the oud. As the dark and sinister breeze continues, it hits a single slice of lime skin, and is instantly contaminated with the bitter presence of exoticism, and we arrive at our destination: one of the boldest and daring scents ever created.

    You see, had the lime not been present, this fragrance would have been utterly despicable. It would have taken it's place as the worst niche fragrance ever concocted; the aoud is so thick, and the woods so strong, that it would not have a place in suburban society. Only Special Forces would be allowed to wear this -- and that would be to cover their tracks during deep-jungle covert-operation missions, away from the prying noses of guard dogs. The iris, too, plays a crucial role in bridging the lime and the woods; which, had the lime not been present, would have destroyed the scent and literally split it into two. Such dark and rich scents can not possess herbal hearts unless the key note of the scent is so polar to the base, that it needs to be controlled. (Our Iris blushes out the tangyness of the lime and offers a safe transition into the oud, where it blends the two together)

    And, you guessed it, Black Aoud is exactly what it sounds like -- oud and roses. The roses, however, are done slightly different... it is not a field of roses; rather, it is a mere three or four of Earth's rarest roses that sit in close proximity to each other, and exhude such a powerful and seductive scent, that it appears to be an entire army of them. The immense power the roses have is breathtaking; as they are present in a forest of oud, which is known to be deep and dark beyond all notes. The roses possess what feels to be a naturally intoxicating scent, which results in a rose that is strong, yet subtle for it's strength, because it was not overdone or forced into a position where it could not otherwise work.

    Both are stunning, and a mind-boggling take on the oud note. They are unique, daring sharp, bold, unforgiving, and proof that Montale creates some of the most original scents known to mankind. I hate to say this, but these are definitely not a unisex scent. Any woman who wears it better have sideburns and a moustache. In Aoud Lime, the saffron is rich and spicy, blending with the woods so effortlessly; resulting in a sweetly-dark oud -- perfect for lime notes to counter, because it offers a sharp, bitter citrus note that almost resembles our beloved smoky-wood scents, but is different enough so that we instantly recognize it as innovative and original. For how in-your-face this scent is, it's very well-composed and elegant. If there's one scent that will be the "wow"-er of these samples, or one scent that forces compliments out of strangers, Aoud Lime will be it. It is breathtaking and jaw-dropping; I'm speechless by how unique and unbelievably deep this scent is. While Black Aoud is slightly more inclined towards a unisex feel, the roses are definitely not similar to the ones present in most female fragrances, let alone in any other unisex fragrance. Equally stunning, but maybe not noticeable by the uneducated noses of the general public.

    Overall rating: 10/10: As a closing note, I would like to apologize to any female who wears this scent, and does not possess a moustache or mutton-chop sideburns.


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    HOT Always by Bond NO. 9

    Cinnamon, rose, and leather do not mix well. HOT Always is proof that, sometimes, you can take wonderfully fragrant ingredients, and compile them to smell like urine. The cinnamon is a bit on the bitter side, the roses seem young and immature, and the leather is too potent and strong -- it's similar to the smell of a brand-new wallet that your baby brother just threw up on. There isn't much else to this scent -- it seems as if B#9 wanted to chase after every competing rose scent and dominate the lot. However, caught up in the confusion, HOT Always falls short of coming close to beating any rose scent -- don't make me compare them to the samples I had. It's that bad.

    Actually, I will. Voleur de Roses smashes it in the earthy and raw department, while Black Aoud demolishes it in the rich and woody department; Rose Poivree puts it to shame in clean and floral department, and Domenico Caraceni stomps it in the spiced and sweet department. Seriously, B#9 started out as somewhat of a good fragrance house... but in the long run, they're simply no good, and I think it's time we start to realize that. A 75ml (1.7fl oz) is damn near $130 -- that's Montale territory. Blasphemy. The comparison of B#9 and Montale is impossible, much in the same way that a stock Honda Civic is never going to beat a Formula 1 race-car in a quarter-mile drag race. If you're going to spend anywhere close to that amount for a 75ml bottle, consider your options, because then you won't be stuck with a terrible scent that has a terrible name.

    Yet another thing I can't stand about this -- the name. H.O.T. Always? What the hell? I can deal with the names of New York's streets; I find it somewhat creative and original, as far as concepts go, but when garbage like this is put on a label and sold for more digits than the size of its container, something is wrong. There are much better scents with much better names; "Voleur de Roses" is beautiful, "Black Aoud" is invigorating, "Domenico Caraceni" is sexy, and "Rose Poivree" is exquisite... but HOT Always? Not always.

    Overall rating: 1/10: I would rather not wear fragrance at all, than to wear this. Not quite as bad as Desire Blue, but very close to the same level.


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    Double Black by Ralph Lauren

    Out of the "common" and "mainstream" fragrances, I have to say I'm very, very impressed with Ralph Lauren. I tend to scoff and mock the mainstream, because they're always cheap ripoffs and low-budget impressions of Creed *cough* SEAN JEAN *cough*, but Ralph Lauren certainly has designed a marvelous scent. We've seen attempts such as Baldessarini at a broad scope of ingredients; and it's worked, but even DB is pushing it. Mango with pepper guided by roasted coffee and nutmeg, laying on a bed of juniper berry, spicy woods, and cardamom? It's almost as if Ralph Lauren sent a survey out and asked people for one, just one, ingredient that they liked in a cologne, and they randomly selected seven of those notes to make a cologne. You have to be insane to try to come up with something as far-fetched as this.

    But don't let that fool you, Double Black doubles-back from it's seemingly unwelcoming list of fragrances as a wonderful scent. Who knew that mangoes could be so soft and transparent, or that nutmeg and roasted coffee fuse together to create a chocolaty-smooth scent, while the juniper berries and rich woods counter the sweetness and add a rose-like tone to the creation? It's almost as if Ralph Lauren, upon adding a new ingredient to the scent, went back and changed everything else so it all worked together. The progression of the scent is fascinating too, because notes gently ebb away before being replaced by others. When the mango dies, there is a brief period of time where there are no other notes present, except the pepper; then, the heart kicks in. There was no sacrificing or settling here; everything works together as one, as a single scent, rather than each note having it's strengths and weaknesses. If you were to let mother nature handle all of these ingredients, and put them into their respective places without overpowering or competing with each other, you'd be safe to bet that Double Black would be the result. It works because it has to. The magic is the simplicity that lies within the complexity; each note should be struggling for a dominant position, but it doesn't. How many times have you smelled a cologne and picked out the notes? Try smelling this gently; don't inhale, just calmly and very slowly absorb the aroma in your nose, and you will find that everything is a single entity.

    I'm stunned by this fragrance. In fact, I like this so much, that come next paycheck, I'm buying myself a bottle. I tend to stick to the 1.7fl oz so I can deplete them quite quickly and move onto another fragrance, but I think I've found a keeper. I'm buying a big[ger] bottle.

    Overall rating: 9.5/10: Who doesn't like a challenge? Ralph Lauren has taken otherwise ghastly ingredients and blended them into a ridiculously good scent. Each strength complements a weakness, and each weakness accentuates a strength. This is probably the only stage in my life where I'll feel at ease wearing this sexalicious blend.


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    OutRAWRgeous by Frederic Malles

    Outrageous is not a fragrance; it's a movie for your nose. Upon the first spritz, Johnny Appleseed awakes to a cheerful sun, and springs out of the bottle, dashing around on your wrist, playfully tossing seeds around, and allowing the crisp, green apple trees to bloom. The fertile soil supports the life of sweet mints, mouth-puckering limes, exquisite grapefruits, divine roses, and strangely enough, a social cinnamon which blends in quite well. As time progresses, the green apples, touched with spicy and fruity influences, drop from the tree of life. Their rich cores serve as nutrition for a hungry cedar, which creeps up gently; overshadowing the bountiful myriad of fresh tropics with it's own apple-influenced heart. Eventually, night settles, and cedar begins to creak and groan, as musk and moss crawl up bark and branch, until the scent remains no more.

    Watch out Christopher Brosius, Frederic Malles is playing ball in your apple field. Poetic isms aside, I think Outrageous is an extremely well done scent. Like most other creations from the FM line, there is undeniably a marvelous progression, and all the notes are felt for respective amounts of time. Typically, fruity scents that appeal to men have some sort of synthetic feel to it, to avoid an overdose on sweetness. The tendency is to try to use "strong" notes of fruit-and-floral ingredients, because they tend to die out fairly quickly (so more is better?), which results in either a very "feminine" perfume feel, or a dead-beat scent that lasts for less than an hour. Paradise for Men, by Alfred Sung, is a perfect example of a juicy papaya-grapefruit scent that has terrible lasting power, due to the lack of strong woods. Outrageous, however, manages to capture light and fresh fruits without overdoing it; and sustain that feel throughout the life of the fragrance, using a soft and indiscernible musk (remember, musk can be used to enhance the smell and life of other aromas) which is stamped with the green, fruity accord of apples. The rest of the top notes fade out, as they are replaced by woodsy heart and base notes, which blend together marvelously well, to give the impression of a spiced-apple type of concoction. On my skin, and to this nose, Outrageous is spiced apple cider, which is amazing, since I've never smelled apple cider on my skin before... and surely there must be few replications of a drink as a fragrance

    For all of its glory, there are some flaws... prior to this creation, the line of Frederic Malles was hardly recognizable as made by a mortal. The scents were so exquisite and well thought out, that we all assumed some divine influence was present during the development of our Noir Epices, Musc Ravageurs, and Carnal Flowers. But Frederic Malles has blinked, and we now see he is human; influenced by the ways of the industry today, he follows. The name, for example, really is Outrageous for such a prestigious line. I would've thought at least "Le Outrageous" would've sufficed; better yet, "Le Scandaleux", or a typical, abstract FM name, such as "Paradis céleste".

    Overall rating: 9/10: Sophia Grojsman impresses my teenage nose. While this concoction is not the best out of the line, it trumps the majority of the fruity, floral, unisex-fragrance competition.


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    Musk by Lorenzo Villoresi

    Upon hearing the term "Musk" in a colognes name, I thought to myself, "oh boy, here's another super strong, super-manly, super-everything fragrance without any uniqueness". But I was dead wrong. Musk opens up with a floral surge of rose and other mixed flowers, with an immediate, "musky" presence of oakmoss and rosewood. Definitely not on the musky side, this surprising mix dries down to a base of sandalwood and amber -- to keep that sweet touch. As the roses and floral notes fade, cardamom and galbanum take their place and provide some spice, to juxtapose the amber, which has absorbed some of the sweetness of the top floral notes, and the freshness of the roses. It settles quite nicely on the skin, and it is unbelievably friendly for a fragrance named Musk; I was truly taken aback by how much I liked this scent.

    I think a solid comparison is to say the opening notes are reminiscent to that of Lime Aoud, but not quite as strong or limy... the woods are strong and very apparent; albeit they are not as legendary as our rich ouds are. The dry down is, I think, what Ungaro III should have been; it retains the spiciness without being bland, or recycling any of the same notes. I love how the heart changes as certain top notes fade out, and it progresses subtly, with two-three notes changing in synchrony, as opposed to one peeling away after the other. It adds a large amount of character to the scent, and allows for a much broader scope of scents within the scent that can be experienced.

    Overall rating: 9/10: When the base notes settle, and all else is gone, it may be a little bland... but it doesn't project as well as when it's on your skin, so it doesn't matter. I thoroughly enjoy this safe scent; it's fit for anybody who wants to smell bold, but can't picture themselves wearing Montale's Aouds.


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    Ungaro III by Ungaro

    As soon as I put this on, I was completely shocked by it. THIS is the scent I've grown up around. When I was little, I would spend a lot of time around my family, and some very close family friends, who were all high-class, wealthy individuals. We would go over to their houses and the adults would socialize at their formal dinner parties, while the kids ran rampant and did their own thing. It seemed like every week we did this; and, every week, I would run by the group of adults and get a whiff of this, and I loved it. I would ask my mom what that smell was, and if I could have some of it to eat. Perhaps she didn't catch it as well as I did, because she ended up putting some nasty seafood on my plate (hey, none of us liked shrimp when we were young kids, did we?), but I could never figure out what that sweet, seductive scent was....

    Until now. Ungaro III is a charming and classy mix of spiced lavender, sugared musk, and exotic woods. The opening is a beautiful combination of floral notes and spices; lavender is handled perfectly here as an aromatic and seductive bergamot playfully bites the nose and provides a scenic, rich impression. As it continues its descent into the base, our bergamot dies, and is replaced by a sweetly-accentuated musk, while the lavender gently fades into a cedar type of scent. Here, though, we begin to slip... the spiced opening leaves much for the heart and base to live up to; which, unfortunately, they do not. The sweetness is all too prominent here, without any real spiced counter to allow a proper drydown; had this been the base, and not the heart, then it would have been forgivable (spices have to die out eventually, and they tend to do so more quickly than woods or floral notes). Perhaps a touch of pepper with just a dab of cinnamon should have been used, in order to propel the bergamot/lavender combination into a solid heart, and to allow more development in the scent. Perhaps, though, the purpose was to have a golden-sweet nectar; because, for how much of a letdown the lack of spices are, the sweetness is done absolutely perfectly (In the intro, I promised that I'd forget what I want the scent to be, and rate the scent based on what it was envision to be, and what it really is). It's elegant and sweet, in a mature, masculine way. It's definitely a Bachelor's scent-of-choice to bring women to their knees (on all fours if you really get lucky )

    Overall rating: 8/10: Ungaro III is a fantastic scent, but the U-Turn it takes will throw many people off. Still, it's one of the best classics.


    ===


    He Wood by Dsquared2

    What an usual scent we have present here... the moment I sprayed it on, three fragrances came to mind: Body Kouros, Au Masculin, and Hypnose. The opening notes were sharp and obtrusive; but lacking of any real oomph, which is the exact same that I get from BK. It should be strong and citrusy, with a powerful accord of bergamot spices and a lavender backdrop; but it's not. After a moment, that faded, and it was replaced by a very strong green ivy and rum scent; the intoxicatingly sweet (and alcohol-infused) notes blushed out that stale introduction, which were further sweetened by what appears to be some musk and bay leaves. A turn-around for the scent; whose opening was uninspiring and bland, but will it continue?

    Cascading through the heart, we begin to see that this won't be a spicy forest; rather, it is a clean cedar chest. So clean, in fact, that it's damn near sterile. A sprig of violet blossoms as the pseudo-BK/AM/Hypnose notes fade away, and the fir that replaces it propels the scent into a strong cedar base. As time passes, this scent gets even better, because the violet fades away, and you're left with just what you came for when you bought this scent -- cedar; and lots of it. There are no floral notes of violet, or any musk left; rather, there is just freshly-cut cedar, with a hint of pine and amber (to keep very little of the sweetness, so you don't smell like a lumberjack -- instead, you smell like a lumberjack wearing a tuxedo). The scent is relatively boring and uninteresting, in terms of development and complexity, but that's exactly what it needs to be in order to achieve the effect that it has. It's very clean, green, cedar-y, woodsy, and non-invasive to your nose. The woods aren't dark or dense; their whiffs are carried on the air, and you can tell there is a relatively transparent feel to this, which allows the scent to take control of the pine and use it in favor of the cedar.

    Overall rating: 8/10: I really don't like this scent; it's just not me... but that doesn't change the fact that it really is good. Also, I'm not too fond of the name... I tend to judge a scent based on its name, because it reflects the mentality of the parfumeur, and the amount of thought put into the name.


    ===


    Grey Flannel by Geoffrey Beene

    Lemon? Orange? What are you talking about? Those aren't the top notes! Unless you're referring to the bitter-tasting roots that feed these plants, which we admire in fragrances. Grey Flannel, to this nose, is an exquisite treat. It's so rich and deeply spicy; yet surprisingly simple. The opening is marvelous; the topsoil from a vegetable garden fills your nostrils as you churn it over, and a warm sensuous backing of lavender controls the harsh minerals and dirty roots. This is purely and simply a Neanderthal juice. It's so primitive and simple, but for some reason, it is so timeless and classic. The oakmoss heart sprouts out very early into the life of the fragrance, and it just keeps on growing; untamed, dirty, and resemblant of a wild patchouli. The base of sandalwood is not real apparent, because the top and heart notes are so clingy, they stick right down to the base and grow with it. However, therein lies a problem, because, like the Earth, things that live past their lives tend to rot, and get old, and therefore smell bad. The lavender eventually turns into a compost-like smell; which, coupled with the oakmoss, provides a nice whiff of what appears to be manure.

    Because of it's simplicity, there's not that much else that can be said about Grey Flannel. It's relatively cheap; and, for how powerful it is, it remains quite well-natured and seems to be liked by many. I quite like this fragrance, but it's a winter-*ONLY* scent. If you dare wear this in summer, be prepared to take a bucket with you, because people around you are going to want to throw up. In the winter, however, it will cut through your scarves and heavy jackets; even Jean Paul Gaultier would blush at how powerful GF projects, and how long it lives on the skin.

    Overall rating: 8/10: This is a classic. If you live in a cold area, get real familiar with this scent, because it should be a staple in your wardrobe.


    ===


    Madrigal by Molinard

    The sample has "Madrigal" written on it, so I'll assume it's not Molinard Homme I, II, or III. Given that, the notes that I have picked up may or may not be correct. Please feel free to add what else your nose may pick up, as I know none of us can pick up subtleties unless we focus on them.

    The initial blast is a beautiful composition of sweet rum with what appears to be a delicate lavender, riding on a very exuberant mint note. Short, classy, and easy, the projection of these simple yet effective notes is appealing to many noses. The sweetness is not thick, or syrupy, and FINALLY, mint and lavender are put into a stylish combination. Many times we see lavender drown out mint; but, not in this case. Lavender serves to soothe the rum, and blush the harsh mint. The trio are joined soon after by a heart of frosty pine and cedar, which bleed through the mint, but allow the lavender to project from their tips. As the mint fades, the rum becomes slightly darker and a little bit thicker; but, fear not another disaster, because the control that the mint had over the rum is transferred to the frosty pine. As the rum and lavender disappear, vetiver and patchouli emerge, taking the frosty pine and cedar deeper into the world of earthy notes.

    Madrigal is the type of cologne you wear when you want to sit in front of a fireplace drinking scotch and talking with your lifelong friends. The fact that it's so woody and earthy make it excellent for those who want something classy, but not something demanding of attention. You'll feel this scent mix in with your atmosphere, and the mood that is created will be influenced by Madrigal. It may be a bit monotonous and too simple, but it's not a cologne you wear to sniff and sniff and sniff at to see if it's changed. It's just there, and it just sits on your skin, living it's sluggish, slow life. If it were a tad bit smokier, with a stronger heart, and softer base, then I think that it would have a chance to be recognized by those of you who are capable of wearing Heritage (I say capable because, let's face it; Heritage is of such immense class, that it picks you. You don't get to decide if you can wear it or not)

    Overall rating: 6/10: For a strong, woodsy scent, it's a little too mellow and similar throughout its life. The projection and sillage are good, and it will turn heads; but it's still junior to our upper-class woodsy scents.


    ===


    Hypnose por Homme by Lancome

    Fasten your seatbelts, because Hypnose is in for a rough ride.

    This scent would be exquisite, with it's electrifying and vibrant bergamot / mint opening, coupled with a mandarin and cardamom whiff, on a heavy and empowering note of lavender. It would be stunning, with the amber bleeding through the heart of bergamot, and the patchouli flirting with the mint, while the musk accentuates the cardamom and mandarin. It would be a genuine treat; a sense-sizzling, sex-appealing, summer-time snowcone of sugary sweetness, except it's already been done. A lot. Too many times, in fact.

    What we have here is a Le Male; a dash short on the synthetic sweetness, only to be accentuated by a fresher accord of spices. Not quite as synthetic and choking as Le Male, but definitely much sharper on the nose, in a very citrus, lemony way. Oh my, what else do we have here... Au Masculin? Yes; void of the licorice and vanilla base, and instead, fond of light woods which allow the top notes to direct the drydown of the scent. Which is strange, considering the pyramid for Au Masculin doesn't resemble the structure of Hypnose (Le Male does, though. They both share bergamot, mint, cardamom, lavender, amber, and a little musk; albeit very synthetic in JPG's rendering).

    How then, do we arrive at such a conclusion? The answer is simple; while the top notes of Hypnose are somewhat related to Au Masculin, and the base is not, keep in mind that the top notes control the drydown in a scent where the heart and base are so weak, and the top notes are so strong. With Au Masculin, the progression is noticeable; your cedar and vanilla beat lighter top and heart notes out of the way and demand attention. Even to the heavy-hitting heart notes of violet (stronger than lavender), there is a very noticeable change. However, with Hypnose, the base notes are so weak, that the top notes remain dominant. There is no real progression, until it begins to fade away -- and that's the only real change.

    Amidst all of this, I do think there was some creativity involved. Hypnose stands out as a fragrance with a very long-lasting top, which controls the fragrance and drives the heart and base to feed it, rather than eventually settling and being replaced by other scents. I somewhat like it's monotony, because for what it is, it's well done. I would never buy a bottle; the diabetes-inducing sweets aren't my forte, but for someone who likes sweet scents that make Boucheron's Jaipur seem bitter, I recommend this one.

    Overall rating: 5/10: It's certainly not the worst. It's a little on the sweet side, but there is definitely a presence felt in this cologne. It's by no means "bland" or "generic", but it's not creative enough for the serious basenoters, who dwell in the playground of the Montales and Serge Lutens' of the fragrance world.


    ===


    Antidote by Viktor and Rofl

    Oops, did I say ROFL instead of Rolf? I think I did. The reason is because I laugh at this scent, which seems to have a split personality. Given the jaw-dropping list of ingredients that would fill up a short story with ease, it's safe to assume right off the bat that Antidote will run into some troubles with itself. Here's a perfect example; mint and grapefruit don't play well together; the menthol voids the citrus notes, and you end up with a flat, Kool-Aid type of sugar-scent. What's worse is mandarin and bergamot; when they both compete for top-dog of the top-notes, it ends up smelling like decomposing matter, aka feces, because our oranges don't take kindly to flat spices (I say flat in the sense that bergamot cannot stand on its own without the aid of other notes) that overpower notes that are meant to smooth out an opening. With the right proportions, the top could have been exquisite; V&R, if you're reading this, please lay off the bergamot and let the orange provide a silky-smooth carpet for the grapefruit to waltz on, while the mint touches it every now and then.

    Okay, so not a good start for our top notes. Hopefully our heart notes won't be as chock-full of "whatever" ingr-- nevermind, they are. Even in the heart, the ingredients are so sharp and so powerful, that it takes two of each family to get the message across - lavender and violet are BOTH used, while nutmeg AND cinnamon are both noticeable. I'm not saying that using nutmeg and cinnamon together is a bad combination; given the right styling, they can do amazingly well together, but V&R have different plans. You can assume that our base will be the same; there are more notes here than the middle or the top. The entire scent, right down the base, is uncoordinated and awkward. There is too much power in this scent, and not enough focus on empowering the qualities of each note. It's a slur of mintleavesitalianbergamotmandaringrapefruitguatema lancardamomfrenchlavendergeraniumnutmegcinnamonbar kfreesiaorangeblossomvioletamberindonesianpatchoul icistuslabdanumvanillairissandalwoodtexanwhiteceda rguaiacumwoodtreemossleatherwhitemuskandtonkabeans .

    Apparently, Viktor and Rolf are two people working on one fragrance without telling each other what they're putting in. Split the fragrance in half; take out the strongest and weakest top, heart, and base notes and you have something worthy of a basenoters collection. Really now, imagine an Antidote with grapefruit, subtle mint, violet, orange blossom, patchouli, musk, and a slight vanilla accord; and another Antidote with bountiful orange, a hint of bergamot, a dash of cardamom, nutmeg, peachy-light lavender, amber, white cedar, and tonka bean. Sounds appealing, yes? It does to this nose at least; but what isn't appealing is a mixture of two like-scents, which cancel out the beauties of the ingredients they possess.

    Overall rating: 3/10: Less is more in this case; Antidote needs to mature and decide what it wants to be. V&R have the potential to transform Antidote into a masterpiece, but they need to calm down a little bit on the ingredients.


    ===


    B*Men by Thierry Mugler

    Strong and sugary fruit notes intoxicate a bushel of rhubarb, as giant sequoia grows with spiced moss out of a patch of vetiver. For what A*Men overdoes in sweetness, B*Men overdoes in bitterness; the initial spray is about as good as it gets. The rhubarb is too bitter and sour, relative to the "fruit notes" (sugared and caramel-covering, knowing the line of *Men!) which results in a nasty contrast of unpleasantness. Then, as it begins it's ascent into the heart, sequoia notes are present, but they seem rotten. Perhaps the rhubarb and fruits are still present as the sequoia grows, but whatever it is, it leaves the impression that, rather than being fresh and full of life, it's relatively dead. It smells exactly the same as what your dog brings back inside your house after a windy, Fall day of playing outside.... that includes some poop-infused dirt. Thanks to a grey and bland moss, the fruit notes are blushed out and the rhubarb becomes even more sour and bitter, and the base begins to crumble... even the vetiver here is out of place.

    Overall rating: 1/10: Okay, B*Men, you can be a dirty scent, but where's your zest? Mugler accidentally made a dirty scent, which smells quite bad for what it is. A mistake with no elegance or boldness; the entire scent just smells out of place.


    ===


    Desire Blue by Alfred Dunhill

    Finally, the first fragrance we can home-make! All you do is take some of this, mix it with generous portions of this, and you have your raw scent. Then, you dump your concoction in here and stick it in this wonderful device and set it on high-power for an hour.

    I'm not kidding when I say it's that bad. I literally compared it to Febreze, which I sprayed in the air, and I literally compared it to my toilet bowl cleaner. Actually, in all honesty, I much prefer the smell of my toilet bowl cleaner over both of them. The initial spray of Desire Blue is an overdose of aldehyde, which poorly covers up the alcohol feel to it, and then it gets even worse. A burning-plastic scent couples with lemons to intensify the synthetic feel, and the backdrop is a very stale bathroom-cleaning product. I regret buying a sample of this, but at the same time, I'm also glad I didn't order a bottle of it. I absolutely despise this fragrance.

    Well then, I can't just pick and choose how I review each scent, can I? I guess I have to mention that there "could be" some thought put into this scent. There are subtle notes of orange, and a hint of lotus, followed by a rather soft heart of rosewood, and a base of musk and a transparent tonka bean. I think the biggest letdown is that Dunhill has this beautiful idea, but falls flat on his face in the execution. Everything is lacking something; he tries too hard to tie the notes together and have "one" smell to his cologne. This could have worked extremely well, had some balls been put into this scent. The point of making colognes is not to please a majority; it is to fulfill your deepest desires, and manifest them into a liquid. The notes have potential; the bergamot can propel the aquatic tangerine with a zing, while the lotus aims to control the top and drive it to the heart of rosewood, orange flower water, and sea breeze accord. Those are very soft hearts; so the tangerine-opening has a chance to stain the woody-heart with its own tropical-citrus note, which then in turn, is sweetened by a soft tonka bean, and dried down properly by a hint of rich musk, and amber crystals.

    Unfortunately, while the notes have potential in the hands of a skilled magician, this particular cologne does not.

    Quote Originally Posted by dunhill fragrances
    This aquatic, ambery fragrance aims to capture a man's inner self and inner awareness. Dunhill Desire Blue begins on a top note of bergamot, tangerine and lotus. Its middle note of sea breeze accord, orange flower water, rosewood and driftwood blends to a bottom note of amber crystals, rich musk and tonka beans. The soothing blue, contemporary flacon has a front detail that evokes the many facets of Dunhill Desire Blue and the precision of Alfred Dunhill.
    No. Absolutely not. Desire Blue is proof that mass-marketed fragrances are alluring in description, but cheap in execution. This is by far the worst fragrance I have *ever* sampled -- and I've raped every cologne store (short of Essenza and Barney's, where the clerks prevent me from doing so) three or four times, hungering for scents over and over and over, regardless of how much I liked them or not. I really like to keep an open mind, and make mental notes as to what I like and what I don't; that way, when I come back, I can ask myself "how has my opinion changed on this particular fragrance, which last time I didn't like because of ___ and ____?"

    This, though, I will never sample again.

    Overall rating: 0/10. Goodbye sample.


    ===


    Salvador Dali por Homme by Salvador Dali

    Yuck, since when did my dog's poop come bottled? As soon as I smelled it on my skin, I ran to the bathroom to wash it off.

    On the positive side, my dogs loved it.

    On the negative side, I'd rather impress girls than dogs.

    Overall rating: */10: I couldn't wear this for more than five seconds.


    =======================


    Phew! I think I'm done...

    Actually, not quite. You see, I've given so many high ratings to so many, I feel that I need to have a final compilation of which ones I will buy... so here it is, in no particular order, with a brief statement.

    1) Equistrius -- no explanation needed for this one.

    2) Domenico Caraceni has impressed me with the magnificent execution of rose and spice. Whenever I'm not wearing this, I always think to myself "I can't envision the smell right now... why did I think it was so godly again?" and as soon as I put it on, I'm in a different world. This is my absolute favorite scent (next to Equistrius), along with a certain fruity counterpart, such as...

    3) Un Jardin sur le Nil is by far the best fruity scent I have ever experienced. The amount of passion and soul put into it makes this a very good deal, even at $130 for a 100ml bottle. What makes it even better is that we don't have to buy it for $130!

    4) #3 Green, green, green, and green is a perfect summer-time companion if you want to smell like high-class greens & spice, but don't want to put on something heavy.

    5) Double Black struck me as a phenomenal scent for a teenager; I find it to be a playful mixture of immaturity and masculinity, and I rather enjoy the chocolaty-tropical sweetness that is so peculiar.

    ===
    And here are the runners-up, and why I decided not to buy them, despite their excellence.
    ===

    1) Pomegranate Noir, while one of my absolute favorites, is undeniably hard to wear. I interact with people indoors, mostly, so attempting to function with a ridiculous scent like that would be like wrestling hungry lions for fun. There is not a doubt in my mind that I will buy a bottle eventually, but that's further down the road.

    2) Lime Aoud is such a bold statement. Unfortunately, for the same reason as me not being able to buy Pomegranate Noir, I can't justify this. On top of not being able to function indoors very well, I hardly think that this is the scent fit for my age!

    3) Voleur de Roses / Rose Poivree were both samples that I wanted to try, in hopes that they would expand my knowledge of fragrances, and allow me to dive into rosy scents... sure enough, they did. However, Domenico Caraceni stole my heart... so unfortunately I will not be purchasing them

    4) Outrageous, like Pomegranate Noir, is one that I will eventually buy. However, with me purchasing the ones that I did (and that I will come my NEXT paycheck) I don't think I have another $110 to spend on yet another bottle... plus, I kinda liked UJSLN a tad better!
    Last edited by Leifer; 15th January 2008 at 07:19 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Now I want to race over and try my Domenico Caraceni sample that came in the mail today! Ah well, I wouldn't want to spoil it with the two other scents I'm wearing.
    Equistrius sounds wonderful: though ( evidently! ) you haven't found its equal, how would you compare Equistrius to other iris scents?

  3. #3

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    I admire your effort and you should consider posting the reviews in the directory but there's just too much disparate stuff here for a single thread discussion.
    Last edited by zztopp; 15th January 2008 at 07:26 AM.
    -

  4. #4

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    The environment that the orris is conceived into is what really makes this scent beautiful. It's the buttery softness and the oh so light woods that really make it powerful.

    There's a fair amount of scents that have orris as ingredients (I believe Aramis 900 -- yuck -- uses it, and so does Dunhill -- yucky yuck) -- but Equistrius does it justice. I have *NEVER* smelled anything like this.
    --------------------------------------
    zztopp, what do you think I should do? I didn't wanna split them up in case some people got mad, and it'd be hard to try to follow three threads at once.
    Last edited by Leifer; 15th January 2008 at 07:35 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  5. #5

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Did I get that right - '...your teen nose'? Your real name isn't Mozart, is it?
    Thank you - and please keep on writing! Your style is refreshing like a mountain river - 10/10.
    Last edited by narcus; 17th January 2008 at 07:24 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  6. #6

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    jesus F christ.. a MEGA post indeed.. i'm gonna enjoy reading it fo sho (i actually posted before i read your post )


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  7. #7

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    you are the man....i read every one of them and let me tell you something, i am confident enough in your opinion and taste to make a blind buy on Un Jardin sur le Nil
    CDG 3 (The one you CAN'T find anywhere) for trade.
    Full 4 oz Bottle of Silver Mountain Water(95% full) for trade(purchased at Nordstrom not online). PM me for details.

    My Blog: www.BLAMEURPARENTS.com

  8. #8

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Wow. Each one of those reviews do deserve their own post. Very impressive. Very vivid.


    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    Did I get that right - '...your teen nose'? Your real name isn't Mozart, is it?
    Thank you - and please keep on writing! Your style is refreshing like a mountain river - 10/10.
    Not a level of writing and fragrance awareness I could expect from a teenager. "Sophia Grojsman impresses my teenage nose" - I think Leifer meant this figuratively as when his nose was a teenager's nose. If not, I'm even more impressed.

  9. #9

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by acceptfacts View Post
    you are the man....i read every one of them and let me tell you something, i am confident enough in your opinion and taste to make a blind buy on Un Jardin sur le Nil
    I'm sure you'll like it. Outrageous is similar, but it's a little more inclined towards spicy-musk and apples, as opposed to focusing on tropical sweetness. If you don't, though, I'll buy the bottle off you

    Quote Originally Posted by MadScientist View Post
    I think Leifer meant this figuratively as when his nose was a teenager's nose.
    I guess you could say it was metaphorical -- through my experiences with these samples, my sense of smell really has matured, and my appreciation for niche scents has skyrocketed.... but as far as age is concerned, I'm still only 18 years old

  10. #10
    Basenotes Institution
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    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Leifer View Post
    I guess you could say it was metaphorical -- through my experiences with these samples, my sense of smell really has matured, and my appreciation for niche scents has skyrocketed.... but as far as age is concerned, I'm still only 18 years old
    You have an extremely good nose and skill with words, for an 18 year old Leifer.

    Can we clone you?

  11. #11

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Very nice reviews! Thank you. Did you buy the LeLabo Olfactionary? Because you name exotic notes with great ease. Much appreciated

  12. #12

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Leifer, thanks so much for the Herculean effort! You wrote about a number of fragrances that I'm either experimenting with or dying to try.

    Let me urge you to try HOT Always again (a couple of times); I had your "What the f---?" reaction the first time I smelled it, but I've grown to find it very sexy in a fun, over-the-top way. Then again, I'm significantly older than you--at least ten years --so there may be a life-stage effect. I'm not sure I'd have dared wear it when I was eighteen, but I was wearing Drakkar Noir then so what do I know?

    Also, your review of Rose Poivree puzzles me. Words like "clean" and "pure" sound incongruous with that fragrance's pepper and civet, especially next to your reference to Voleur de Roses as "dirty" (although I think you meant that in the dirt-dirty as opposed to the sexy-dirty sense). Is it possible your sample is misnamed?
    Last edited by ActingTall; 16th January 2008 at 05:34 AM.
    My current top 10: Richard James; Clive Christian No. 1 for Men; L'Artisan Voleur de Roses; Creed Aventus, Erolfa, Santal Imperial, Virgin Island Water, and Windsor; Serge Lutens Chergui and Gris Clair

    "It is never to late to be what you might have been." George Eliot

  13. #13

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    You have an extremely good nose and skill with words, for an 18 year old Leifer.

    Can we clone you?
    As long as I'm paid in fragrance for my DNA, I'm okay with it

    Quote Originally Posted by nthny View Post
    Very nice reviews! Thank you. Did you buy the LeLabo Olfactionary? Because you name exotic notes with great ease. Much appreciated
    You're very welcome! As for the olfactionary, oh heavens no... I don't have that kind of money, I hardly have enough to get by as it is already. I've had quite a few expenses in the past two months, so I haven't even been able to afford lunch (good thing I get free food from the fast-food joint across the street from where I work!), let alone more fragrances

  14. #14
    Dimitrios's Avatar
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    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Brilliant Leifer ... Are you certain I can't entice you with a fee sample of the " rare as hens teeth"
    Pierre Cardin I own ?
    Im sure 100's of ladies over at the Female section will want to read about something they can't get and can only dream of how sultry & seductive this is ..
    Your reviews since appearing here to me seem the most eloquent & poetically described .
    You really have nothing to lose and as well as sample to gain can also have the honour of posting the first review in the database ... I'll do the honours with a pic of the bottle .
    Last edited by Dimitrios; 16th January 2008 at 02:18 AM. Reason: ..

    SALES
    JANUARY 2013 ..http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=232133

    *** SPECIAL - LUI ROCHAS , 3.3oz Sealed ***

    FLACON .. Updating Soon flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=43

  15. #15

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Oh my, I completely forgot about your offer, Dimitrios! I'll go ahead and cave into the pressure... you've got a PM!

  16. #16

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Very well done, Leifer. Thumbs up from me .
    Last edited by knightowl; 16th January 2008 at 04:29 AM.
    Are you not entertained??? Is this not why you are here??

  17. #17

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Couldn't handle the Dali, eh? Lightweight. :P

    I must say that was a huge and enjoyable read. I'd be interested to see a follow up posted in this thread after you've tried the samples a few more times. I know my perception of any frag changes over the first few wearings - sometimes dramatically so.

  18. #18

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Haha, oh no I could handle it, it's just not my type of scent.

    Besides, I hardly think Salvador Dali has anything on the likes of Lime Aoud... that was just IMMENSELY powerful. Seriously, I just compared the two... Salvador Dali por Homme is now an aquatic and fresh Acqui di Salvador Dali, while Lime Aoud remains to be Acqui di Satan's Wrath.

  19. #19

    Thumbs up Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Very impressive Leifer! Well done.

    //m

  20. #20
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    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by wrfritsche View Post
    Also, your review of Rose Poivree puzzles me. Words like "clean" and "pure" sound incongruous with that fragrance's pepper and civet, especially next to your reference to Voleur de Roses as "dirty" (although I think you meant that in the dirt-dirty as opposed to the sexy-dirty sense). Is it possible your sample is misnamed?
    I was thinking the same thing when I read Leifer's review of RP. I do not think RP is 'civet-y' but its use of black pepper does dirty up the rose notes to my nose. Softly dirty up, mind you. Leifer, your sample, was it from Luckyscent or from another source?

  21. #21

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    I was thinking the same thing when I read Leifer's review of RP. I do not think RP is 'civet-y' but its use of black pepper does dirty up the rose notes to my nose. Softly dirty up, mind you. Leifer, your sample, was it from Luckyscent or from another source?

    IMO Rose Poivree has the rose & black pepper showing in the top and mid notes whereas the dry down is surely dirty due to 'civet'. It just changes its character completely in the dry down with the rose really pushed back and civet emerging and dominating. Though i must say that the rose and pepper combination smells terrific.

    gupts

  22. #22

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Leifer, your sample, was it from Luckyscent or from another source?
    How odd. Yes, mine was from LuckyScent... but I don't detect a hint at all of pepper or anything except a voluptuous assortment of roses, even as I'm sampling it right now... perhaps I received something else? The sample says Rose Poivree on it... weird.

    Well then, if my sample was mislabeled, anybody have any idea what this could be, based on the review?

  23. #23

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    leifer....you need a job doing this for a living....or more accurately, it needs you.
    CDG 3 (The one you CAN'T find anywhere) for trade.
    Full 4 oz Bottle of Silver Mountain Water(95% full) for trade(purchased at Nordstrom not online). PM me for details.

    My Blog: www.BLAMEURPARENTS.com

  24. #24

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    acceptfacts, I was going to get a job at a local Parfumerie, except I'm the only manager capable of working right now, where I currently work, and I'm good friends with the store manager, so I don't wanna just dump the store and literally leave it in shambles. I'll wait for him to get back, and if I don't get a sufficient raise, I'll go to Parfumerie and ask them to hire me on. Their store manager told me I'd be hired on the spot for what I knew, so hopefully I can milk some decent money from the job!

    Edit: Also, if I get a job there, that means daily in-depth reviews, and requests will be taken as well. So hope that I get shit-for-a-raise where I work, and a damn good pay offer from them!
    Last edited by Leifer; 17th January 2008 at 03:58 AM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Leifer--You had some awesome reviews of some frags I'd love to check out. You do have some skills with descriptive writing as well confidence to a very knowing group of people. I'd like to do reviews for some of my samples from the Perfumed Court, but I don't quite cut the mustard next your colorful and honest work. Keep up the awesome work. As Acceptfacts said, "you need a job doing this for a living....or more accurately, it needs you."

  26. #26

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Leifer View Post
    How odd. Yes, mine was from LuckyScent... but I don't detect a hint at all of pepper or anything except a voluptuous assortment of roses, even as I'm sampling it right now... perhaps I received something else? The sample says Rose Poivree on it... weird.

    Well then, if my sample was mislabeled, anybody have any idea what this could be, based on the review?

    I hate to reign on your parade Leifer, but all this discussion about whether or not there is pepper in Rose Poivrée and whether you got the wrong, "mislabeled" sample or not is quite absurd.

    Some basic research into the name would have confirmed that Rose Poivrée translates to "Peppery Rose". Why The Different Company would want to name a rose fragrance "Peppery Rose" if it didn't have some kind of peppery note in it is beyond me. For the record, Rose Poivrée has two kinds of pepper in it, poivre, your typical black pepper (Latin name Piper nigrum),and baises roses, another kind of pepper which has nothing to do with roses. Baises roses is a plant (Latin name Schimus terebinthifolus) that produces tiny pink peppercorns that have a peppery, slightly anisic quality to them. These two aromatic elements are what make up the peppery profile of Rose Poivrée/Peppery Rose, along with the spicy elements of the Rose Centifolia
    (more about that below), one of the two kinds of roses used in Rose Poivrée. The Different Company website clearly lists both of these peppery notes.

    Identifying notes and singling them out in fragrances is a precarious task and is usually done two ways:

    It's done mostly by reading the list of notes given by the manufacturer. Most reviews/reviewers basically run through such a list and wax lyrically on the notes they're actually given believing that in most cases they can actually distinguish each one from the other and actually smell each individual note, which is more often than not not the case because most note structures are approximation, metaphors if you like of what's going on (less so the case in niche fragrances). Such discrimination takes a lot of practice, but that doesn't seem to stop many reviewers.

    The second way to identify notes, at least to the point where something useful can be said about what's going on, is to actually train one's nose through familiarization with and comparison of different fragrances, absolutes, concretes, resinoids, essential oils, eand aroma chemicals, etc. to the point where one can distinguish among the different notes or the way they are generally constituted. This is a lot more complex and takes a lot of time and practice. My suggestion is not to assume just because you can't smell something in a fragrance that it's not there. It might simply be that your nose isn't trained to discriminate the note among the other more dominant or prominent notes. It might also be the case that you don't yet understand how a particular note smells when it works synergistically with other notes. To suggest it's not there because you cannot smell is not the way to proceed.

    Incidentally, the first way of describing notes is mostly useless. It's prosaic and doesn't really get to what is really going on in the fragrance and how the aromatic profile is created and experienced.

    Take the case of civet in Rose Poivrée. If one's nose can't distinguish it Rose Poivrée, it doesn't mean it's not there. Some people have blind spots when it comes to civet (and other notes for that matter, the term for this is selective anosmia) and some sense even minute amounts of it in fragrances to the point where it puts them off, so, again, one has to be cautious in making claims that it's not there. Trust me when I say that there's civet in
    Rose Poivrée and it's actually there in quite an abundance. It's simply blended very well with the rich spiciness of the coriander (in this case coriander seed rather than coriander leaf) and with the syrupy sweet aspect of the Rose Centifolia, and this is to be expected since civet is one of the fixatives par excellence, which, when handle well, as it here, has the ability to blend with other ingredients and to a large extent lose itself in them, but at the same time to provide a certain lift and a full, rounded radiance to those element it fixes.

    Incidentally, the pepperiness of the the poivre and baies roses and the spiciness of the coriander in
    Rose Poivrée is an echo and at same a reinforcement of the spicy middle and base notes of Rose Centifolia. Looked at in this light, the name Rose Poivrée makes perfect sense.

    By all means review, but do your homework. In this case a simple translation of the name would have saved you the embarrassment of going out on limb, and being seriously mistaken. But you know what, it's not you fault, you're young and enthusiastic and those qualities are to be admired and welcomed as is your willingness to have a go at putting in words the obvious joy and exhilaration you get from fragrances. I certainly encourage you and look forward to your future reviews, but, again, please, do a little basic homework first.

    scentemental
    Last edited by scentemental; 17th January 2008 at 09:33 PM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: mega-compilation of mini-reviews

    scentemental, I know Rose Poivree stands for Peppery Rose (doesn't poivree = peppermint?)

    But, in my defense, for my reviews, I look up all of the notes and go through them before, during, and after I spray them on my wrist to sample them. I was quite ill while writing these reviews, but I wanted to see if my brain had the creative ability to overcompensate for my noses lack of power at the time, so my review of Rose Poivree wasn't completely skewed; rather, I just didn't notice the spices at the time. Let me try it one a third time, now that I'm well, and try to pick out the spices.

    Plus, Rose Poivree IS smooth, and it IS serene. You can have a smooth blend of spice-and-rose, yes?

    Also, I very much appreciate your feedback. Your words certainly are golden bits of information. If there's anything else you would like to offer me, please let me know. I'm looking forward to your next opinions on my next set of reviews, and thanks again.

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